Gerard V wants to know who Gerald is
There’s this guy who has been haunting me all my life. He has shared in my successes and failures, attended job interviews on my behalf, and taken credit for some of my achievements. I have never met him. His name is Gerald.
It is probably best that I have not met him, because if I did I might rant at him; yell and curse, possibly commit an act of violence at his intrusions into my life.
Now that I am promoting myself as Gerard V – Comedy Stage Hypnotist, he’s out there shamelessly promoting himself as Gerald V – Comedy Stage Hypnotist.
I’d rather think that I have a rival, possibly a doppelganger, than to conclude that there are so many people in the world who cannot copy six letters accurately, and do not realize the mild affront when they think I don’t mind being called by someone else’s name.
The reason this grates on me especially is that my dad’s name is also Gerard. But for most of my life, he called himself Gerald, and had his cards printed thus, because that was what most people called him. He’d given up on being called by his correct name. He has passed away now, and I wonder if he has paid a price for putting his identity on a lower plane than the ignorance of so many people.
It seems, by the way, to be mostly a Kiwi thing. Perhaps in Europe Gerard Depardieu has paved the way to make my name more common. The USA and Canada with their multitudes of immigrants and ethnic origins are more used to the need to stop and listen, or to ask, in order to understand and spell a name. Similarly, I never have this problem in Australia, Guatemala, Mexico or Costa Rica. Nor in any of the 14 African countries I have visited.
In New Zealand and Australia, our mostly British colonists have left a legacy of arrogance. I think that is the right word. I experience it in NZ when, rather than apologise for the gaff, people react as if my name were the problem, rather than their spelling or pronunciation of it. It seems sometimes is as if I am inconveniencing them by having my own name, and not the one they would choose to give me.
Why did I write this blog? I have been reviewing the search terms used to find this website. Of those that incorporate a name, as opposed to just a phrase like “corporate entertainment” or “sixteenth fastest hypnotist”, the seventh most common search is for “Gerald V Hypnotist”.
So to all those who know me as Gerard I give my heartfelt thanks.